Review: Who’s Who in British Climbing

I had previously published this review on another website, and one of the comments, obviously came from the writer or publisher of the book, that comment that a. I was not interested in climbing history, which is true, b. I had used the term several biographies, when to be factually correct it would have to be several hundred pointless biographies, and thirdly I was bitter I hadn’t made the shortlist, which is true, I had to go see a councillor to get over the pain and mental anguish of not making it into this book. Given time the scars will heal!

This is my previous review:

As a photo contributor to this book, I was given a free copy of this mighty tomb, but my excitement as the book fell through the door was short lived. Judging a book by its cover Colin appears to have used a first-year design student to layout the cover, with a photo montage that most 10-year olds can knock together in five minutes.

Whilst the title “Who is Who in British Climbing?” is inticing whether you’d like to hear Colin Wells take on the answer to that conundrum is another matter. The concept of the book is several hundred well-researched albeit opinionated biographies of various climbers from across the ages of British climbing. Whilst some character flaws are glossed over others have had quiet an unnecessary amount of dirt brought up from the past. I guess some of those featured must have previously upset Mr. Wells, fortunately I doubt there be a second edition, so I can attack with impunity.

For the better known climbers, all the entries really do is act as spoilers for anyone who actually wanted to read a full autobiography or biography on that person. For the lesser known climbers you will ask the question, who the hell is that and am I bothered?

To be fair even Colin identifies four groups of people that will hate his book

1. Everyone in it
2. Everyone not in it
3. Bearded men in comfortable cardigans who attend mountain literature festivals
4. People who post on internet forums.

Which begs a question who wouldn’t hate this book, a colleague has made it through to P in this book, but he likes cricket. For me I think it will be little more than a waist of 2 inches of bookshelf, although i do have a picture that needs hanging and no hammer.

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